Tenby United (8) 22 Kidwelly (13) 31
With a full list of players available for the first time in several months, FBM sponsored Tenby United took to the field brimming with confidence for what was a battle of the basement, as they faced fellow strugglers Kidwelly on a damp and windy Heywood Lane in front of a small crowd, that had braved the adverse weather to support their teams. Tenby unfortunately needed to make one change to the team originally selected with Mike Davis coming off the bench to replace Jason Ronowitz and Rob Tuttle taking Mike’s place on the bench. The changes to the original team eventually forwarded by Kidwelly on Friday were not as straight forward, with one positional change and ten player changes which made tracking what went on during the game even more difficult that usual when it came to reporting on any visiting team activities.
Kicking off with the strong wind at their backs, and fortunately the 2pm forecasted downpour being kept at bay by the strengthening wind, Kidwelly were immediately put into defensive mode as Jack Broadhurst and Roy Osborn ran the ball back at the onrushing forwards. The initial pressure was maintained as from the first lineout Mike Davis took the ball and guided it down to scrum half Ben Pugh who’s initial short burst was carried on by skipper Luke Dedman progress only being stopped by a high tackle put in by a desperate visiting defender allowing Lloyd Thomas to put Tenby 3-0 up early in the game. The game plan of being focused on line-speed in defence and supporting ball carrier in attack was paying dividends.
Wanting to maintain/build on this early momentum the home side three’s threatened and a no arms tackle on Jack Broadhurst rapidly followed by a bout of chopsing by the Kidwelly players ended with referee Richards marching the extra ten metres. Tenby continued to pressurise the visitors line with a series of pick and go’s but the Kidwelly defence held firm and forced Tenby to infringe at the breakdown with the resulting penalty, aided by the strong wind, took play back to deep in the Tenby 22. Any benefit created from this attacking position was immediately nullified by Kidwelly as their number 10 was held up at the tackle/breakdown and spotting an infringement referee Richards yellow carded one of the visiting forwards.
Another clean catch and give off the lineout by Mike Davis set up an opportunity for Tenby to cobble together an attack with initially Moritz Neumann and Jordan Asparassa combining linking up with forwards Huw Evans and Tom Barrass being joined by Aaron James and Roy Osborn with the move coming to nothing as the stretched visitors defence held firm and referee Richards awarded the first scrum of the game.
With attack at all times still the tactic of the afternoon Roy Osborn and Jack Broadhurst, aided by Jordon Asparassa, Aaron James, Ben Pugh and Joe Owen threatened to break through the visiting defence but a dropped ball brought proceedings to a halt. Frustration started to creep into the game as Tenby could not breach with visiting defence and this was not helped by a stupid push in the back of the chasing Kidwelly winger and with the wind still their ally Kidwelly took play deep into the Tenby 22. From a scrum the eight and nine combined to put centre Stuart Morris through a huge hole in the home defence for a try converted by Gareth Rees taking Kidwelly into a 3-7 lead.
Spurred on by this score it was Tenby that threatened the scoreboard operators next with Aaron James, Rob Luly, Roy Osborn, Lloyd Thomas, Jack Broadhurst, Moritz Neumann, Luke Dedman, Shane Rossiter and Tom Barrass all involved in a prolonged attack eventually ending with Tom Barrass crossing the whitewash wide out and into the wind Lloyd Thomas was unlucky as his kick bounced off the upright, but Tenby went into an 8-7 lead. This lead was short lived as at a scrum that followed the restart the Tenby 3’s were pinged for being off side as number eight Roy Osborn picked up from the base of the scrum and Gareth Rees slotted the resulting penalty with Kidwelly regaining the lead at 8-10. With half time minutes away Jack Tucker replaced an injured Aaron James. Sorties into the Kidwelly half yielded nothing despite the efforts of hooker Dan Allen, Mike Davis and Huw Evans and high tackles seemed to be the order of the day by Kidwelly but ironically it was the visitors who ended the half scoring when a man and ball pass was made to Jack Broadhurst and he was pinged for holding onto the ball at the tackle and Rees stroked the ball over the cross bar as halftime beckoned and an 8-13 game.
The message at half time from the home coaching squad was simple – take control of the game with no forcing necessary – a straight forward instruction which was totally forgotten by the Tenby XV as soon as the game restarted with 8-13 rapidly turning into 8-28 as a series of errors and basic mistakes presented Kidwelly with three tries. The first was a classic of how not to do things when having cleverly created a 2 on 1 situation close to the Kidwelly line the would be scoring pass was intercepted allowing winger Allan Squire to run the length of the field for an unconverted try.
It got worse as minutes later, having only just failed to grasp another interception opportunity, the Tenby defence went totally absent allowing the other wing, Arwel Rees, to run in from 50 metres. With the dreadful series of mistakes still to be added to when a Tenby attacking move simply stopped dead in its tracks and a pass was given to Allan Squires who romped away for the bonus point earning fourth try of the game and a scoreboard that sadly read 8-28.
Any game plan or halftime message was a distant memory now as Tenby tried to resurrect any interest in the game and from one combined forward and backs attack Huw Evans made the telling break that put fellow front row forward Dan Allen in under the sticks for a try, converted by replacement Harry Rossiter, closing the score to 15-28. To add to their woes, Tenby has Jordan Asparassa yellow carded. The game ended with referee Richards rather prematurely awarding a penalty try to Tenby as the forwards via a maul were trying to cross under the sticks, blowing for time as soon as he blew for the penalty try, giving a sense of respectability to the scoreboard with 22-31 Tenby defeat being displayed.
During the second half the bench had been active and we saw Harry Rossiter slot in at 10, Lloyd Thomas switch to centre with Shane Rossiter coming off. The forward changes saw Mike Davis being replaced by Rob Tuttle and props Rob Luly and Ethan Morgan swapping places. The final change, in the 70th minute saw Charlie Patching taking to the field as a replacement for Lloyd Thomas and Roy Osborn moving out to centre. From talking to the coaches after the game the feeling was that there were far too many unforced errors, not playing as a team with too many individuals doing their own thing as well as being far too loose in attack. Players carrying in ones with no support and finally remarked that the low training numbers is having an effect on the field
With the 6 nations break coming next week the remaining games facing Tenby are 23rd March Dunvant (a); 30th March Gorseinon (h); 6th April Whitland (a); 13th April Llangennech (h) and 27th April Kidwelly (a) bringing the season to a close.
Scorers Tenby: Tries Tom Barrass and Dan Allen and a penalty try. Conv Harry Rossiter. Penalty Lloyd Thomas
Scorers Kidwelly: Tries Stuart Morris Allan Squires x 2 Arwel Rees. Gareth Rees Conv and penalties x 3
Tenby:- Aaron James (Jack Tucker), Joe Owen, Shane Rossiter (Harry Rossiter), Moritz Neumann, Jordan Asparassa, Lloyd Thomas (Charlie Patching), Ben Pugh, Huw Evans, Dan Allen, Rob Luly (Ethan Morgan), Tom Barrass, Luke Dedman, Jack Broadhurst, Roy Osborn, Mike Davis (Rob Tuttle)
Kidwelly: Gareth Rees, Arwel Rees Stuart Morris Curtis Ford Allan Squires Steve Hewitt Alex Davies Warren James Llewellyn Evans Cieran Horse Jonathan Williams (Capt) Rhys Evans Rhys Minchin Richard Pearce Ceiran Stevens
Reps: Graham Rees Scott Jones Kyle Burke Lloyd Nathan Morris Robin Davies